Author Topic: You don't look American.  (Read 44814 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Corvid

  • Etiquette Hell Thread Assassin Squad
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 875
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #75 on: December 11, 2011, 11:36:27 AM »
I was mistaken for German a few times when I was stationed in Frankfurt, but I chalked that up to me being a female, out of uniform, and reasonably fashionably attired.

I was also mistaken for Canadian while in Wales, but that was understandable considering that I am originally from Michigan and a Canadian men's choir from Ontario was visiting the same town.  Yes, that's right.  While visiting Wales I got to listen to a Canadian men's choir.  That's pretty much like going to a British pub and getting handed a chili dog instead of a steak and kidney pie.  Not only that, they sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", practically the anthem for the American north during the American Civil War.  I kept a straight face then, but I did ruefully crack up later.

Portugal79

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 128
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #76 on: December 15, 2011, 11:10:29 AM »
this happens to me all the time, i am from South American heritage on my dad's side and anglo-saxon on my mums. So i am shaped like a viking with an unusual surname...you have no idea when people assume i am from said country. When my brother married his wife, we all sat round and made it clear the life she would now have. but she did it anyway :D

mrkitty

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 764
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #77 on: April 13, 2012, 05:00:48 PM »
I must have the kind of face that people assume is part of their ethnicity or something. I am an American of German descent (Bavaria, to be exact, which is in the southern part of that country). I have pale skin, brown/amber eyes and (naturally) dark hair. I've had people mistake me for all kinds of ethnicities...I've had people ask me if I'm Latina, Mexican, one guy even asked me once if I'm from Guatemala. Now, my mother's family was from Austria/Hungary, so my mom had kind of olive skin with the dark hair and brown eyes...but her features were very Anglo. And her skin wasn't that dark. My brother and one of my sister's have my mother's skin tone, while my other sister and myself are as pale as the Bride of Frankenstein. I think people often project their own ideas about ethnicity on others...I think it's just natural. It's silly to assume, of course, but kind of fun to be on the receiving end of it for me. I like to think I'd make a great spy, because obviously I could blend in...anywhere.  8)
Learn from past. Live in the present. Hope for the future.

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10803
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #78 on: April 13, 2012, 05:31:56 PM »
I quickly got pegged as an American because of my teeth; a teacher initially did, too, until she revealed she was Canadian.  The people doing the pegging said, "Close enough!"

But holy moly, CamiCar!  What about the "Black Irish" with their green eyes and black hair?  I have never, ever heard hair coloring to be the determining factor.


However, I did have someone tell me that I'm not white because I'm part Italian...that really confused me, especially because I'm pretty pasty half of the year and don't think I could be mistaken for anything but.

That's the first thing I thought of too!  As for the typical Irish look, I've heard that the red hair and blue eyes combo is becoming more and more rare and its more common to see brown hair and green eyes. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

afbluebelle

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5345
  • Saving the world one squirrelbot at a time
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #79 on: April 18, 2012, 11:57:40 PM »
I'm a mutt of muttley proportions (Irish, English, German, French, Italian, Native American*, Russian, who knows what else)

In Kandahar, the Canadian complex was next to us. There were several guys there that refused to believe I wasn't one of them. What made it even funnier was my aunt sent me a shirt from her Calgary trip that said "Made in Canada". The jujitsu class decided that was enough evidence to convict me of falsyfying my Canadianness.  I guess my family roots met in the middle and I was never aware of it (mom's family is in Alaska, dad's family is in Colorado/Texas)


*Native American is actually Native Canadian... the tribe I have ties to is near/around the Hecate Straight. We never found out if it was the Haida or Tlingit tribe.
My inner (r-word) is having a field day with this one.
-Love is Evol: Christopher Titus-

Harriet

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 235
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #80 on: April 19, 2012, 12:09:49 AM »
On my last trip overseas I was told I couldn't possibly be American since I was too skinny.

I honestly didn't have a clue what to say.

WolfWay

  • They burnt down my house... They ate my tailor!
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2399
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #81 on: April 19, 2012, 03:50:23 AM »
I was once chastised because I say my Norwegian last name "wrong".  ::)
I once had a student correct my pronunciation of her last name. She then said, "It's French!" I said, "I know. I am fluent in French. I've lived in Quebec for many, many years. 'X' is how you pronounce your name in French."  ::)
I have a first name that is actually a French surname and a last name that looks French (but isn't, it has an ending that makes it look French).

I don't pronounce my name with any sort of French pronunciation, but I once had a teacher (during roll call) make a valiant effort to pronounce my full name with an flamboyant roll on the "r" and a silent "s" at the end and I've sat there (along with all my baffled classmates) going "Who is that? Do we have a new person in the class? Oh wait! That's my name in a French accent!"  ;D
It's best to love your family as you would a Siberian Tiger - from a distance, preferably separated by bars . -- Pearls Before Swine (16-May-2009)

JonGirl

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4749
  • I'm a JonGirl forever.
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBAa6CvY-TQ
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #82 on: April 19, 2012, 05:53:06 AM »




Someone told me I couldn't be Australian, that I had to be European because I am "too white".
 :-\
Stewart/Colbert '16

Lynn2000

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4748
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #83 on: April 19, 2012, 09:50:00 AM »
Someone told me I couldn't be Australian, that I had to be European because I am "too white".
 :-\

Hmm, do you think they meant "pale," as in, there's a stereotype that all Australians are really suntanned? That's all I've got...
~Lynn2000

Sophia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11671
  • xi
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #84 on: April 19, 2012, 02:01:56 PM »
When we were in Italy, although we dressed to fit in, we were always instantly pegged as American. I remember once walking into a take-out cafe and the clerk barely glanced up before he said, "Americans? Coke -- that way." I asked our guide why we were so easy to peg as Americans and she gave us three reasons why Americans are easy to pick out:

1. Americans smile. Other nationalities do not smile with anything close to the amount Americans do, especially when they walk into a shop and automatically smile at a clerk.
2. When Americans smile, you see the teeth.  Perfect teeth=American.
3. Americans do not have a discernable physical type, so therefore when you see someone without an obvious nationality, we assume they are American. If in doubt, smile at them,  then they'll smile at you and see #1. ...

So, that explains it!  I visited my Swedish friend in Sweden (she'd been an exchange student).  If I kept my mouth shut and let her do the talking.  People seemed to assume I was Swedish.  (I am half-Norwegian)  The second I opened my mouth, people's face would change.  I could read their mind, it was "Oh!  You are American!"   I even experimented with just opening my mouth and then closing it without saying anything.  Still got the
"You are an American look."  I also am a smiler, even for an American.  My husband said I even have a slight smile when I am crying.  I hate jeans and athletic shoes, so I wondered what gave me away. 

GreenEyedHawk

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1961
  • Not hot but SPICY
    • My Facebook.  Feel free to add me!
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #85 on: April 19, 2012, 11:15:01 PM »
I was pegged as a Canadian by a group of people from Toronto while I was standing in line at an outdoor cafe.  In Stirling.  I was happy to see some fellow Canucks but bewildered as to how they'd picked me out as Canadian when I was just a nondescript white person in a group of other nondescript white people.  I hadn't been speaking, so there was no way they'd have known I didn't have a Scottish accent and my background is Scottish so I figured I looked pretty much like the locals.  Finally flummoxed, I asked how they'd known I was Canadian.  One of them wordlessly pointed at my shirt.  I was wearing a hockey jersey emblazoned with the logo of my local NHL team. 

Derp. :-\ ::)
"After all this time?"
"Always."

Mental Magpie

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5017
  • ...for the dark side looks back.
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #86 on: April 19, 2012, 11:20:22 PM »
I was pegged as a Canadian by a group of people from Toronto while I was standing in line at an outdoor cafe.  In Stirling.  I was happy to see some fellow Canucks but bewildered as to how they'd picked me out as Canadian when I was just a nondescript white person in a group of other nondescript white people.  I hadn't been speaking, so there was no way they'd have known I didn't have a Scottish accent and my background is Scottish so I figured I looked pretty much like the locals.  Finally flummoxed, I asked how they'd known I was Canadian.  One of them wordlessly pointed at my shirt.  I was wearing a hockey jersey emblazoned with the logo of my local NHL team. 

Derp. :-\ ::)

Haha!  I love when I forget which shirt I'm wearing, then someone comments on it, and my brain is left to catch up.  Happens more than it should...
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Bast

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 78
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #87 on: April 20, 2012, 10:33:13 AM »
When I was in Germany for a semester, people always thought I was French.  Granted, I was near fluent in French at the time, so I played along, but it was rather disconcerting the first few times, and then when I was in Paris and was stopped by an (obvious) tourist who asked where the Metro was!  Feeling slightly wicked, the instructions were given in French, with my rather Paresian accent.  The only times that I was pegged as American was when I was with my classmates, who did fit the stereotypes of "loud, slightly rude, partying college kids."

My background, however, is British/German/Polish.
"They may forget your name but they will never forget how you made them feel." ~Maya Angelou

Sophia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11671
  • xi
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #88 on: April 20, 2012, 10:43:43 AM »
One thing I could never figure out is that when I was in Taiwan on business, several people spoke German to me.  When it was the doorman at the hotel I thought it was excellent customer service and that they'd made note that I worked for a German company.  But then it happened when I was shopping or doing tourist things.  I am an American of Norwegian/Czech mix. 

guihong

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6442
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #89 on: April 24, 2012, 09:48:47 PM »
I was always mistaken for a Russian in China, but the city we were in was way up in the northeast, and had not seen many Americans.  If you weren't Chinese or Korean (we were about 50 km from the border), you were a Russian.   The two African-Americans in our group really got stared at on buses.

The most recent generations in my lineage are everything in the U.K., German, and somewhere in what is now Poland, ethnicity unknown.  I do in fact have some Russian blood, but way back in the mists of time.  I'm also a Grand Mutt of Muttley Proportions ;).